The first runners up in the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primary election, Chief Olusola Oke, has said he has no plan to leave the party for another, as being insinuated.
Oke who made this declaration after a meeting with the leadership of the Unity forum group within the Ondo APC dismissed as mischief the insinuation that he planned to defect to any other party over political developments in the state.
Oke who lost the APC governorship primary election to the governor Rotimi Akeredolu acknowledged and commended the overtures towards him and the unity group by the governor, however, said the group would remain members of the party.
The group however issued a seven-day ultimatum to governor Akeredolu to place before the group his terms of reconciliation and lay on the table what he has for the aggrieved groups.
He said Akeredolu has shown interest and laid the foundation towards reconciliation and said the group would be ready in the reconciliation process only if it is genuine and involve the national leadership of the party.
Oke maintained he had no personal issue or disagreement with the honour but their difference was purely based on policy disagreement which can be resolved, saying he was interested in the preservation of the APC government in the state.
Oke said “We have resolved that we remain members of the APC in Ondo state and our respective wards and that we are interested in a cohesive, united APC where there would be no disconnection, where all members will be treated as equal, where government patronages will no longer be sectional and right and privileges of members will be respected without hindrance.
“We agreed that it is not in the interest of any member of the party for this party to slide into the hand of opposition and therefore unless unavoidable. We will do everything possible on our part, subject to the condition and terms that will be given out to retain the party in power in Ondo state.
“We also agreed that the incumbent governor representing team Aketi has made overtures to us for discussion for reconciliation and our team will be ready to participate in any reconciliation efforts, genuinely undertaken by the party leadership from the national secretariat to the zone and to the state”
Oke stated further that “the view and decision of the party that any reconciliation that will be acceptable will be the one initiated as he has done and will be in line with the participation of the national leadership of the party.
“Our group insist that because of the experience in the past, where promises were made but not kept, where people were given assurances but were denied.
“It is therefore important that the reconciliation should be comprehensive and that the only reconciliation that will instil the confidence in our people”
He said more than half of the APC members in the state belong to the Unity forum and stressed the need to build one united family ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.
“We acknowledge that our followership accounts for more than 50 per cent of the APC governorship in Ondo state and that we believe in APC and us interested in the preservation of the party, governance of APC, subject to modification, adjustment, redirection and refocusing that will be contained in our charter of demands which will be sent to the governor and the leadership of the party. (Ondo 2020)
“We have directed the members of the caucus here to go back to their local government areas, hold local government meetings on Monday with a view to encouraging our members to stay an await further directive
“We are aware of the overtures being made by PDP to some of our members in the local area and also aware of the overtures by some members of team Aketi and we resolved that no member should discuss, negotiate, or take any decision unless the one said to be undertaken at this level.
“We remain resolute in our belief that unless it is unavoidable our members will not, for now, do anything to be injurious to the overall interest of our party in the state. (APC)
“We are of the view that whatever decision or negotiation we are going to undertake should be must be done timeously and within the next seven days all reconciliation efforts
“All terms and conditions would have been agreed upon and when these are done our party will come out in its full strength to sustain our party in this state”